I met Dick Trickle on September 9th 2000 at the Richmond International Raceway. It was the afternoon before the Busch race. He kept hitting me up for my Camels and telling me how much he liked racing the short tracks. We just sat there awhile smoking cigarettes and talking about racing. When I asked him if it were true that he use to smoke in the race cars he said to me, in his mid-western drawl “Yeeeeeah they don’t let me do that anymore.”
You see that May earlier in the year I went on the Zippo website and took a quiz about NASCAR racing. Needless to say I won the Grand Prize of a day at the track with Jimmy Spenser driving the #20 Zippo car in the Busch race on a Friday night. Dick was driving for Jimmy that night in the #99 Schneider National car. My bud Jim who went with me to the race spent the afternoon talking with Jimmy Spenser while I walked up to Dick and introduced myself as a fan of his going back to the Grand National Racing days. He told me all about how to go into a corner on a short track and when to get back in the gas coming out of the turn.
I had a memorable afternoon with a racing legend.
Dick Trickle came in third place in the race that night. Jimmy Spenser took fifth place.
Dick Trickle took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot. He was 71 years old.
R.I.P. Dick Trickle